MINDFULNESS, a once obscure Buddhist concept, is now a vital component of yoga philosophy and practice. It can be defined simply as, a “moment-by-moment awareness”. In more clinical terms, it’s a state of psychological freedom that occurs when attention remains still and without judgment or attachment to any point of view. At HOT 8 YOGA, that familiar request by instructors to “stay in the present”, to have non-judgmental, moment-to-moment observations of the mind/body experience during class, is a constructive and comforting reminder.
Emotional regulation is one of the specific benefits of mindfulness all HOT 8 YOGA members can enjoy. “When we ruminate, or get caught up in negative feelings, emotion regulation can be very helpful and healthy” . Practicing mindfulness develops your ability to control negative reactions through the application of moment-by-moment awareness. For instance, let’s say you fall out of your vrksasana during class. You don’t get upset and storm out of the studio, humiliated! No way, because you check in with your body, take a breathe, sip water, pick up your foot and when ready, resume the asana, focused, in the present, and open to your outcome.
When there’s stress, mindfulness helps with calming down and thinking rationally. The science shows that when mindfulness is practiced, an increase in pre-frontal cortex activity occurs; and in the amygdala, a gateway for depressive moods, such activity decreases . Mindfulness techniques and meditations are also associated with increased activity within the limbic system, thalamus, and anterior cingulate cortex in the brain .
A regular mindfulness meditation practice can ensure:
• Less rumination and negative thinking, over time
• Higher positive self-awareness
• Fewer depressive symptoms
• Decreased negativity
• Better working memory capacity and productivity
• Improved attention span and focus when performing tasks
INVIGOR8 MEDITATION, a mindfulness meditation class, launches at all HOT 8 YOGA studios weekday mornings beginning October 3. Come experience all the benefits of incorporating meditation into your daily routine!
See you on the mat!
HEIDI DILL SEP 21, 2016